Know when international growth makes sense for your business
Marketing Strategy

Know when international growth makes sense for your business

Is your company export ready? To find out, says Florida SBDC at FIU consultant Shelly Bernal, answer the following questions:

  • Does your company have a product that has been successfully sold in the domestic market?
  • Can your company commit sufficient production capacity to the export market?
  • Is your company willing to modify product packaging and ingredients to meet foreign import regulations and cultural preferences?
  • Is your company willing and able to dedicate time and resources to the process of developing export markets?

If your company is ready, there are many reasons to go forward, says Bernal, who works at the small business development center within FIU’s College of Business. She sent along this information from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

According to the SBA, small firms account for 97% of all U.S. exporters. There are many ways to become involved in exporting, from selling to domestic buyers who then export your product to exporting products yourself (commonly referred to as “direct exporting”).

Then there’s this: Companies that export grow faster and fail less often than companies that don’t.

Exporting firms expand their annual total sales about 0.6% to 1.3% faster and are nearly 8.5% less likely to go out of business, regardless of time period or export volume. Among the reasons why are economies of scale, the opportunity to spread out business risk and increased revenue and profits from additional markets.

And did you know exporting is not just for products? Since 1980, U.S. service exports have grown about 290% faster than exports of goods. The U.S. service sector is extremely advanced and internationally competitive. In-demand service exports include accounting, advertising, engineering, healthcare, technical services and training services.

But all this doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Critical to export success is a strong export strategy, says Bernal. We’ll get into that in the next post and explore how SBDC at FIU helped one company lay the foundation for export success.

MORE INFO: In the meantime, read more about exporting from the SBA here and access the SBA’s free Export Business Planner here.

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